Why I Walk: Anitra
At the young age of 12, Anitra was faced with difficult medical issues that most people never have to deal with. As a child she was overweight, causing her to be borderline diabetic. At the request of her doctor she began dieting to lose the extra weight but it wasn't dropping quickly enough. She was then put on insulin controlling meds, and for a little while everything was going well.
It was in her 8th grade year that her lupus began to flare up. It started with a flashing light that only she could see, and then she had her first seizure. Soon after this episode, she began having unbearable joint pain, her general practitioner stated that it could be junior arthritis and recommended she take Motrin. The pain only increased along with her symptoms, she now had achy joints, hives on her top lip, fingers, and shoulders, plus swelling in the majority of her body. At this time she didn't know what lupus was, or that these were the common symptoms.
She then went in for a multitude of tests and it was discovered that she now had a kidney infection. This was in May, 2014. They had a family trip to Mexico planned for June of that year, but it was suggested that she see a Rheumatologist before leaving. Instead of clearing her for the trip, the Rheumatologist sent her up stairs and assigned her a room in the children's hospital where she would later be told that she had lupus, Leukopenia and alpha thalassemia.
This did not cause Anitra to give up, she goes on to say that "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." She knows that she is stronger now than she was three years ago, with the support of her family, her strong faith in God, and a fantastic attitude, she has been able to overcome her obstacles with grace. Her belief is that with a positive attitude and a good support system a person can overcome anything, and that her purpose is to help others with her story, inspiring them to never give up.
Join Anitra and Team Ani's Butterflies as they Walk to End Lupus Now! Register or donate!